Advertisement

Psychopathology, Atmospheres, and Clinical Transformations: Towards a Field-Based Clinical Practice

  • Gianni Francesetti
Chapter

Abstract

The concept of atmosphere in psychopathology has been used sporadically and by only a few, albeit authoritative, authors, although such contributions, largely neglected by debate in psychiatry and psychotherapy, today are particularly interesting because they point to and support a conception of psychopathology that goes beyond a symptomatic and individualistic understanding of human suffering. The dominant paradigm in clinical psychotherapy and psychiatry today makes use of third-person descriptive diagnosis, and clinical work aims at changing the way the patient (dys)functions. Such an approach is far from satisfactory and has not proven to be successful in addressing the problems it promised to resolve. In this chapter I attempt to describe how the concept of “atmosphere” can help open up a different understanding of psychopathology, diagnosis, and clinical practice. It can help also to steer us towards an aesthetic diagnosis that goes beyond the diagnosis of symptoms and towards a field-based clinical practice, which goes beyond the individual or bi-personal. It is a paradigm shift that will lead us onto a new epistemological ground, one that is different from the individualistic perspective, where clinical work focuses on the suffering individual to effect change, but also from the bi-personal paradigm, which sees the relationship co-created by two individuals who come together and jointly produce change. This new horizon posits the relationship before the related, where subjects and the world emerge incessantly from an undifferentiated ground in which they are not yet defined.

Keywords

Psychopathology Atmosphere Psychotherapy Field perspective 

References

  1. Barron, J. W. (Ed.). (1998). Making Diagnosis Meaningful: Enhancing Evaluation and Treatment of Psychological Disorders. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  2. Bateson, G. (1979). Mind and Nature. A Necessary Unity. New York, NY: Dutton.Google Scholar
  3. Béguin, A. (1939). L’âme romantique et le rêve. Paris: José Corti.Google Scholar
  4. Beisser, A. R. (1970). The Paradoxical Theory of Change. In J. Fagan & I. Shepherd (Eds.), Gestalt Therapy Now: Theory, Techniques and Applications (pp. 77–80). Palo Alto, CA: Science and Behavior Books.Google Scholar
  5. Bloom, D. (2009). The Phenomenological Method of Gestalt Therapy: Revisiting Husserl to Discover the Essence of Gestalt Therapy. Gestalt Review, 13(3), 277–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Böhme, G. (2001). Aisthetik. Vorlesungen über Ästhetik als allgemeine Wahrneh-mungslehre. München: Wilhelm Fink Verlag.Google Scholar
  7. Böhme, G. (2017). The Aesthetics of Atmospheres. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Borgna, E. (1988). I conflitti del conoscere. Milano: Feltrinelli.Google Scholar
  9. Bracken, P., Thomas, P., Timimi, S., et al. (2012). Psychiatry Beyond the Current Paradigm. British Journal of Psychiatry, 201(6), 430–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Carhart-Harris, R., Leech, R., Hellyer, P. J., et al. (2014). The Entropic Brain: A Theory of Conscious States Informed by Neuroimaging Research with Psychedelic Drugs. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 20.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00020.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Costa, C., Carmenates, S., Madeira, L., & Stanghellini, G. (2014). Phenomenology of Atmospheres. The Felt Meanings of Clinical Encounters. Journal of Psychopathology, 20(4), 351–357.Google Scholar
  12. Dostoevsky, F. (1869). The Idiot (A. Myers, Trans.). Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.Google Scholar
  13. Francesetti, G. (2012). Pain and Beauty. From Psychopathology to the Aesthetics of Contact. British Gestalt Journal, 21(2), 4–18.Google Scholar
  14. Francesetti, G. (2015a). From Individual Symptoms to Psychopathological Fields. Towards a Field Perspective on Clinical Human Suffering. British Gestalt Journal, 24(1), 5–19.Google Scholar
  15. Francesetti, G. (2015b). “Absence Is the Bridge Between Us.” Gestalt Therapy Perspective on Depressive Experiences. Siracusa: Istituto di Gestalt HCC Italy Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  16. Francesetti, G. (2017). “Suspended from Shaky Scaffolding, We Secure Ourselves with Our Obsessions.” A Phenomenological and Gestalt Exploration of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. British Gestalt Journal, 26(2), 5–20.Google Scholar
  17. Francesetti, G. (2019). The Field Perspective in Clinical Practice: Towards a Theory of Therapeutic Phronesis. In P. Brownell (Ed.), Handbook for Theory, Research and Practice in Gestalt Therapy (2nd ed.). Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.Google Scholar
  18. Francesetti, G., & Gecele, M. (2009). A Gestalt Therapy Perspective on Psychopathology and Diagnosis. British Gestalt Journal, 18(2), 5–20.Google Scholar
  19. Francesetti, G., & Roubal, J. (forthcoming). Towards a Field-based Clinical Practice: Paradoxical Theory of Change Reconsidered.Google Scholar
  20. Francesetti, G., & Spagnuolo Lobb, M. (2013). Beyond the Pillars of Hercules. A Gestalt Therapy Perspective of Psychotic Experiences. In G. Francesetti, M. Gecele, & J. Roubal (Eds.), Gestalt Therapy in Clinical Practice. From Psychopathology to the Aesthetics of Contact (pp. 393–431). Milano: FrancoAngeli.Google Scholar
  21. Francesetti, G., & Zarini, P. (forthcoming). Absence, Présence.Google Scholar
  22. Francesetti, G., Gecele, M., & Roubal, J. (2013). Gestalt Therapy Approach to Psychopathology. In G. Francesetti, M. Gecele, & J. Roubal (Eds.), Gestalt Therapy in Clinical Practice. From Psychopathology to the Aesthetics of Contact (pp. 59–78). Milano: Franco Angeli.Google Scholar
  23. Freud, S. (1919). The Uncanny (A. Strachey, Trans.). In The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud: Vol. XVII (1917–1919). An Infantile Neurosis and Other Works (pp. 217–256). London: Vintage, 1999.Google Scholar
  24. Greenberg, J. R., & Mitchell, S. A. (1983). Object Relations in Psychoanalytic Theory. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Griffero, T. (2010). Atmospheres. Aesthetics of Emotional Spaces (S. De Sanctis, Trans.). Farnham: Ashgate, 2014.Google Scholar
  26. Griffero, T. (2016). Il pensiero dei sensi. Atmosfere ed estetica patica. Milano: Guerini.Google Scholar
  27. Husserl, E. (1913). Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy: Vol. 1. General Introduction to a Pure Phenomenology (F. Karsten, Trans.). The Hague; Boston; Lancaster: Nijhoff, 1983.Google Scholar
  28. Jacobs, T. (1986). On Countertransference Enactments. Journal of the American Psychoanalytical Association, 34, 289–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Jacobs, L. (2017). Hopes, Fears and Enduring Relational Themes. British Gestalt Journal, 26(1), 7–16.Google Scholar
  30. Jaspers, K. (1963). General Psychopathology (J. Hoenig & M. W. Hamilton, Trans.). Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Lingiardi, V., Amadei, G., Caviglia, G., & De Bei, F. (Eds.). (2011). La svolta relazionale. Itinerari italiani. Milano: Raffaello Cortina Editore.Google Scholar
  32. Marion, J.-L. (2003). The Erotic Phenomenon (S. E. Lewis, Trans.). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2008.Google Scholar
  33. Marková, I. S., & Berrios, G. E. (2012). The Epistemology of Psychiatry. Psychopathology, 45, 220–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Masciandaro, N. (2018). Synaesthesia. The Mystical Sense of Law. In A. Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos (Ed.), Routledge Research Handbook on Law and Theory (pp. 179–201). London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mazzeo, M. (2013). Introduzione. In H. Tellenbach, L’aroma del mondo. Gusto, olfatto e atmosfere (pp. 5–12). Milano: Marinotti.Google Scholar
  36. Menninghaus, W., Wagner, V., Hanich, J., Wassiliwizky, E., Kuehnast, M., & Jacobsen, T. (2015). Towards a Psychological Construct of Being Moved. PLOS One, 10(6), e0128451. Retrieved November 29, 2018, from  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0128451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Merleau-Ponty, M. (1945). Phenomenology of Perception: An Introduction. New York; London: Routledge, 2003.Google Scholar
  38. Metzger, W. (1941). Die Entwicklung ihrer Grundannahmen seit der Einführung des Experiments. Darmstadt: Dietrich Steinkopff Verlag.Google Scholar
  39. Migone, P. (2013). Presentazione del DSM-5. Psicoterapia e Scienze Umane, XLVII(4), 567–600.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Minkowski, E. (1927). La schizophrenie. Psychopathologie des schizoides et des schizophrènes. Paris: Payot.Google Scholar
  41. Perls, F., Hefferline, R. F., & Goodman, P. (1951). Gestalt Therapy. Excitement and Growth in the Human Personality. Highland, NY: Gestalt Journal Press, 1994.Google Scholar
  42. Philippson, P. (2009). The Emergent Self. An Existential/Gestalt Approach. London: Karnac Books.Google Scholar
  43. Robine, J.-M. (1997). Plis et Deplis du Self. Bordeaux: Institut Français de Gestalt-thérapie.Google Scholar
  44. Robine, J.-M. (Ed.). (2016). Self. A Polyphony of Contemporary Gestalt Therapists. St. Romain-la-Virvée: L’Exprimerie.Google Scholar
  45. Roubal, J., Gecele, M., & Francesetti, G. (2013). Gestalt Therapy Approach to Diagnosis. In G. Francesetti, M. Gecele, & J. Roubal (Eds.), Gestalt Therapy in Clinical Practice. From Psychopathology to the Aesthetics of Contact (pp. 79–107). Milano: FrancoAngeli.Google Scholar
  46. Roubal, J., Francesetti, G., & Gecele, M. (2017). Aesthetic Diagnosis in Gestalt Therapy. Behavioral Sciences, 7, 70.  https://doi.org/10.3390/bs7040070.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sartre, J.-P. (1946). Existentialism Is a Humanism (C. Macomber, Trans.). New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007.Google Scholar
  48. Sartre, J.-P. (1964). The Words (B. Frechtman, Trans.). New York: Vintage Books, 1981.Google Scholar
  49. Schmitz, H. (2009). Kurze Einführung in die neue Phänomenologie. Freiburg; München: Alber Verlag.Google Scholar
  50. Spagnuolo Lobb, M. (2018). Aesthetic Relational Knowledge of the Field: A Revised Concept of Awareness in Gestalt Therapy and Contemporary Psychiatry. Gestalt Review, 22(1), 50–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Staemmler, F. M. (1997). On Cultivating Uncertainty: An Attitude for Gestalt Therapists. British Gestalt Journal, 6(1), 40–48.Google Scholar
  52. Staemmler, F. M. (2006). The Willingness to Be Uncertain. Preliminary Thoughts about Interpretation and Understanding in Gestalt Therapy. International Gestalt Journal, 29(2), 11–42.Google Scholar
  53. Stern, D. B. (1997). Unformulated Experience. From Dissociation to Imagination in Psychoanalysis. Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press.Google Scholar
  54. Tagliapietra, A. (2017). Esperienza. Filosofia e storia di un’idea. Milano: Raffaello Cortina Editore.Google Scholar
  55. Tellenbach, H. (1968). Geschmak und Atmosphäre: Medien menschlichen Elementarkontakts. Salzburg: Müller.Google Scholar
  56. The Boston Change Process Study Group. (2010). Change in Psychotherapy. In A Unifying Paradigm. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co..Google Scholar
  57. Vázquez Bandín, C. (2014). Sin tí no puedo ser yo. Pensando según la terapia Gestalt. Madrid: Sociedad de Cultura Valle-Inclán, Colección Los Libros del CTP.Google Scholar
  58. Waldenfels, B. (2011). Phenomenology of the Alien. Basic Concepts (T. Stähler & A. Kozin, Trans.). Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  59. Weil, S. (1952). Gravity and Grace (E. Crawford & M. von der Ruhr, Trans.). London; New York: Routledge, 2002.Google Scholar
  60. Yontef, G. (2005). Gestalt Therapy Theory of Change. In A. Woldt & S. Toman (Eds.), Gestalt Therapy History, Theory and Practice (pp. 82–83). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gianni Francesetti
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of TorinoTurinItaly
  2. 2.International Institute for Gestalt Therapy and Psychopathology (IPSIG)TurinItaly

Personalised recommendations